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Ideas on Newfoundland

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We are 60 yr olds wanting to plan a 2 to 3 week visit to Nfld. either in June or September. Wondering what month would be best. Also, wondering if having 2 or 3 places to stay would be advisable or whether a b &b basically for 1 or 2 nights stints would be better?we won't be back there so we do want to see all the parts of Nfld. we can? Thank you

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    It's been a number of years since I visited, but here's my two cents. In June, you are likely to see icebergs and whales. Newfoundland is large, so I would definitely stay in more than one place. We stayed in St. John's, from which we visited Cape St. Mary's, an incredible bird rookery. You could get up close to see massive gannets. We also did a whale watching trip from St. John--saw whales and puffins.

    We also stayed in Trinity, which I thought was charming. We stayed at Fishers Loft, which we loved.

    Finally, we stayed in Gros Morne, where we did the boat trip of the fjord. It was a long drive from Trinity to Gros Morne.

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    First of all, let me say that you are smart to come to Newfoundland! I am vacationing here right now (from the US), and I LOVE it! I'll be doing a trip report later, but wanted to go ahead and answer your questions. We got here on July 22, and since then, have seen two icebergs and tons of whales, some of them breaching over and over again! It's been phenomenal. And all that's from the shoreline! So what we've heard is that you see even more icebergs in June (we were lucky to see them this late) and that there are whales in June, too. I have no idea what it's like in September, so I'll leave that to someone else. The weather when we arrived was VERY cold! We had to go and get some extra fleeces and jeans. But then a few days later, it warmed up considerably (I sunburned), and everyone pulled out their shorts for the first time all summer, or so we were told. But this has been an unusually cold and rainy summer, the worst in 30 years, according to my taxi driver.

    In regards to your question about staying for a night or two or more, I'd say that you should stay 3-4 nights in fewer places. We spent four nights in St. Johns, and that was wonderful, and we could have stayed longer. We then did three in Elliston, which was awesome (whales breaching from the beach, puffins, nearby Bonavista with lots of fun events, the Bonavista lighthouse with whales everywhere), root cellars capital of the world, etc! Then on to Twillingate for two nights, stayed in tiny Merritt's Harbor at Daisy's Place, so beautiful! And now we've done Gros Morne, and are on our way back to Southport and then Cape Broyle.

    What we've found is that it takes a day or two to find out what's going on in the area. I did lots of research to see what events would be taking place, but you have to be here and read the paper to see them all. So, for example, we were able to go to a pottery bake on Middle Beach while in St. Johns, and buy pottery as they pulled it up from the hole in the ground where they'd cooked it. So fun, and gorgeous! But we only found out about that in the local paper. And then while staying in Rocky Harbor, we happened in on the tail end of a Fire Circle at Lobster Point (Lobster something), but we didn't join because it had already started. It would have been a really neat experience, and if we'd been there longer, we might have heard about it in time. So a longer time will give you more time to really enjoy the area.

    Also, a couple of other things to take into account. I would fly into St. Johns and out of Deer Lake if I wasn't using free points, which meant that I couldn't. You don't want to drive back across the island if you don't have to. Also, check out when you get here, or something like that, to see where they are. And, do some research on when it's foggiest so that you don't get stuck somewhere when trying to fly into St. Johns. My husband and son flew separately from me (due to free points), and they got stuck in Newark overnight. I almost got stuck in Ottawa, but then the pilot decided to try it. We ended up circling St. Johns for about an hour, or so it seemed, before landing in Gander. The airline eventually put us on buses (after hours of sitting on the plane and in the airport--great camaraderie, though) from Gander to St. Johns and I arrived at 4:30 a.m. I hadn't read anything about the fog, so was totally unprepared. You can't control it, of course, but you might want to at least have in your mind that it's a possibility. From what I heard, there were tourists stranded all over the place.

    Having said that, though, this is our FAVORITE place in Canada, and we love everywhere we've been in Canada! The people here are SO nice, and we LOVE their accents! We have decided that it would be fun to come back and spend a week, or even just a few days around St. Johns, driving from cove to cove, eating seafood. Another thought about your timing--we are here for cod season, and my husband went cod fishing with some local fishermen. He loved it. And my son's goal is to eat fish and chips every day of our vacation. You might want to see what's in season in June and September if that makes a difference.

    Oh, one more thing. By the time we got to Gros Morne, we were glad that we didn't plan to drive up to St. Anthony's. Though I've heard it's a beautiful drive, and one person told me that her son saw 47 moose on that road a week or so ago. We haven't seen one yet. But if you are doing three weeks, then that's more doable, especially if you aren't driving back across the island.

    Have fun planning!

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